Not the changing room used for filming the final changing room scene in the film “Chariots of fire” at the other end of the building a few years later. Timer exposure Lubitel II camera on a tripod.
The headmaster leaves the stage after morning assembly at Cowley Boys School in St.Helens in the late 1970s.
The headmaster was very strict so this image was taken quickly and undercover hence the poor focus and camera shake.
Taken from the balcony the band played on though for this assembly Mr Dobbs the music master was at the piano to play along to the morning hymns.
I would have liked to have better focus but accept that the rarity of the subject matter makes this an important image for me. I find it helps me remember the period and better understand the dynamics that were present then.
The St.Helens I remember from my youth. I was thirteen and a half when I took this (I have a very clear memory of taking this image).
Very self conscious at the time, there was a break in the traffic but I was not nervous of the traffic just of what people might think.
Going through this pain barrier made it easier and easier to take photographs without worrying, the start of the journey…
St.Helens, view up to North Road.
The tireless Mr Dobbs music master conducts the school brass band on the balcony of the main hall at Cowley School.
He deserved a much better tenor horn player than I was that’s for sure.
Morning assembly saw all the pupils in the main hall for hymns, prayers and announcements. When the band didnt play the hymns were accompanied by piano from the front of the hall.
Some favourite Hymns:
There Is a Green Hill Far Away.
In the bleak mid Winter
Late 1970s image showing the corner of Cooper and (I think) Argyle street in St.Helens (since demolished).
The houses and shops of my youth were still pretty much unchanged from when I grew up there in the 1960s.
This particular shop was a favourite of my sisters and myself in the 1960s as they sold pocket money toys from a large box. These toys were made of plastic and had “Made in Japan” stamped on them. Japan was the land of cheap goods in those days but changes were underway…
The long hot Summer of 1976 was certainly felt in the South facing classrooms of Cowley boys school. Windows went unopened as we baked in our polyester uniforms and tried to stay awake as the lessons progressed slowly. The Helios 58mm lens combined with the poor blacking in the Zenith E body meant shooting into light always exhibited light flares, this light flare helps convey the atmosphere so not too bad.
Cowley Boys School. St.Helens.